If Hollywood is full of anything it’s people who like to talk about the movie business. You can’t escape it. From a house party in Echo Park to a crowded gym in Brentwood, the “biz” can always be heard in some corner of the room. It’s the main reason why those that love the race just can’t ever, ever leave. But being the number one topic of conversation is hardly tied to an obvious ranking at the box office. It can be the hype over what key talent will do next, the future plans of a media company, the competition for a premier franchise role, the reaction of a fanbase and so much more. Oh, and sure, those theatrical grosses always some work their way into the conversation somehow, but after a movie opens everyone’s really moved on to the next big thing anyway. Moreover, whether it’s the old guard having launch at the Palm or the youngsters working the agency mailrooms, there is always a town consensus (believe it or not). Now, it’s time to chronicle those opinions.
Every week, HitFix will be following the ups and downs of the most discussed movies, companies and talent in the industry. Like familiar power rankings on your favorite sports site it doesn’t matter where you are in the standings (ie, box office) to move up and down HitFix’s Power Rankings. It’s a buzz game people. It’s just that simple. And you are always entitled to agree or disagree.
So, without further delay, our inaugural list begins with…
Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
1. “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”
When “Have you seen the trailer?” comes up within the first five minutes either over dinner, drinks or IM, you know you’ve won the town over.
2. “Twilight Saga”
“Eclipse” gets a poster (yawn), but the race to direct “Breaking Dawn” is heating up. How soon will we know?
3. “The First Avenger: Captain America”
The industry’s most public casting call is finally over and – surprise – fandom is thrilled with Chris Evans in the lead. One question remains: will he go blonde?
4. Will Smith
Arguably the world’s biggest movie star still hasn’t decided on his next flick. Will it be “Hancock 2,” “Men in Black III” or will he return for another “Independence Day”?
It’s one thing to have Carl Ichan wage a public war to take over your company, but you know the situation has jumped the shark when he’s ripping one of your movies and debating your CEO on a live CNBC show. Egad.
6. “Clash of the Titans”
Two trade reviews. Two split votes. Could critics actually embrace the 2-D version more than the 3-D? We’ll find out soon enough. Oh, and it’s gonna make a massive amount of money this weekend.
7. “Knight and Day”
20th Century Fox is buying TV spots all over cable television this week for a movie that isn’t coming out until June. Something tells us Tommy boy is a little worried about opening so close to “Eclipse” and the suits are trying to make him happy. Not that we’d have any past experience with that or anything…
Buzz keeps building. Next stop: WonderCon.
9. Cannes Film Festival
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” Woody Allen’s latest and Brad Pitt’s “Tree of Life” could join “Robin Hood” on the fabled festival’s red carpet next month.
10. “How to Train Your Dragon”
It disappointed stock holders at the box office, but everyone who has seen it (including those in the industry) adore.
By traditional marketing rules this movie should have already disappeared, but Focus Features may have pulled off a miracle with this indie hit. Kudos to Ben Stiller for working the publicity train on an admittedly difficult sell.
12. “Paranormal Activity 2”
Hey Tod/Kip Williams, you’ve got seven months to shoot, edit and release a sequel to one of the most profitable movies in history. Hope you survive the experience!
13. “Alice in Wonderland”
Who needs a President of Marketing? After 24 days, Tim Burton’s biggest hit has grossed $656.5 million worldwide and still counting.
14. Sandra Bullock
After a monster 2009 at the box office and an Academy Award for Best Actress, Bullock should have her choice of any project in town. Instead, she’s holed up in her Hollywood Hills home because of her dumb[expletive] soon to be ex-husband.
15. “Iron Man 2”
Potentially the highest grossing movie of the year and a possible candidate or the largest 3-day weekend in history opens in less than six weeks. Anyone else feeling a lack of genuine excitement in the air?
Let’s not talk about…
* “The Runaways”
Apparition is run by some really smart peeps, but boy did they screw this one up.
* “The Ghost Writer”
Great movie, but shouldn’t it be on track to make more than $15 million at best?
* “Scream 4”
Original creators Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson return for a fourth installment. No one cares.
Agree or disagree with this weeks’ rankings? Share your thoughts below.